Literary Friday, Edition 58
Sinning Across the South with Creative Nonfiction
Lust, lies and bad behavior is the theme of Creative Nonfiction magazine’s spring 2013 “Southern Sin” issue. “What, you might ask, would inspire a magazine based in Pittsburgh to put together a ‘Southern Sin’ issue?” begins the opening from Editor Lee Gutkind. It all started with a Mississippi brainstorming session for a Southern issue several years ago. Publisher turned inmate Neil White and Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Mississippi Beth Ann Fennelly were involved, along with novelist Tom Franklin. Gutkind hypothesizes that there’s less sin to the east, north and west and that there’s a special style of sin in the South (possibly the one that we go to church on Sunday to ask forgiveness for and then start right back up again on Monday).
Out of the nearly 600 essay submissions the magazine received for this issue, lust was the sin most frequently addressed. In Miami native Chelsea Rathburn’s story “The Renters,” a lonely divorcee makes ends meet by renting a room in her house to illicit lovers. Mary Helen Kennerly’s “Shacked Up” portrays a young woman in South Carolina as she takes the big step of moving in with her boyfriend. Of course the sins of wrath and pride show up as well, as in Harrison Scott Key’s “The Wishbone” about football in the Deep South. Key was chosen as the winner of Creative Nonfiction’s $5,000 “Southern Sin” Essay Prize.
Literary News & Blogs
Flavorwire’s list of 10 Famous Literary Characters That Are Significantly Younger Than You Think includes several lovable Southerners. Can you guess who they are?
The Department of English at The University of Texas at Austin has launched an online 3-D reconstruction of a famous art exhibit visited by novelist Jane Austen in May of 1813. “What Jane Saw” features 141 paintings by British portraitist Sir Joshua Reynolds that were displayed at an exhibition at the British Institution in Pall Mall, London.
Read another story by “Southern Sin” essay winner Harrison Scott Key in The Oxford American‘s summer issue.
Check out Ernest Hemingway’s Reading List for Young Writers on Open Culture. It comes from a college student who hitchhiked all the way from Minnesota to Florida to meet him and ask for advice.
Piccolo Spoleto’s Literary Festival in Charleston is taking place through June 9. Special guests include Dorothea Benton Frank, Terry Helwig and J. Grahame Long. Piccolo also offers a poetry series and poetry walks in the city.
See David Sedaris at Parnassus Books in Nashville tonight at 6 p.m. He’ll be reading from his new book “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls” and signing.
A party for the launch of Mary Kay Andrews’ “Ladies’ Night” will be held June 3 at Kudzu & Company in Sandy Springs, Georgia.
Karen White will be at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, Georgia, June 5 signing copies of her new novel “The Time Between.”
New in Southern Voice
My People, a poem inspired by a Memorial Day family reunion, by Susannah Sharpe Cecil.